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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Rummy Memo: This Is What I Wanted To Discuss

My earlier post was done at the behest of Thomas urging me to utilize my mind regarding the "whys" of the imam case. But the Rummy Memo that was leaked by the NY Times on Friday caught my attention, and I wanted to see what others have had to say about it. Captain's Quarters and Michelle Malkin has some interesting thoughts about. At Michelle's site there is an extensive round-up of links. But what caught my eye was who they both cited. That would be Andrew McCarthy at National Review Online. All I have to say about his post is: Hammer. Nail. Head.

Another day, another explosive classified leak published in the New York Times.

This time, it's a November memo from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to the White House, urging a complete rethinking of military strategy in Iraq. The Times today publishes the classified memo in conjunction with its page-one story.

The memo itself is extraordinarily interesting, even to us non-military types, especially given (a) how little regard Sec'y Rumsfeld seems to have for a lot of the strategy either currently being employed or likely to be proposed by the Iraq Study Group; and (b) how Rumsfeld seems a lot more interested in quick strike capability against al Qaeda and Iran elements than having U.S. forces enmeshed in Iraq's sectarian infighting. It will be a lot more interesting to get analysis from people like Mac Owens, Jim Robbins and Fred Kagan — who actually know what they're talking about in this regard — than from me.

My strictly non-military observation, based on many years in government, is: We appear to be in for two years of increasing dysfunction.

If high officials — in wartime, no less — figure they better not give their best, most candid advice on sensitive, publicly-charged issues because opposing policy factions are going to leak each other's memos to the press, the initiative and creativity of the smart people we want in government is stifled. And the leaks will be used to portray the administration as disintegrating into rancorous chaos, which avalanche feeds on itself.

Like watching a train-wreck in slow motion.

Mr. Morrissey at Captain's Quarters concurs, and adds this:

The Bush administration clearly does not want to change its higher-level strategies in Iraq; Bush has made that clear on the eve of the Baker-Hamilton ISG report. If Rumsfeld hoped to pre-empt the ISG, he may have miscalculated his boss' intentions. ...

... However, it will be interesting after this memo to see how the press and the Democrats approach Rumsfeld. They have made him the Devil incarnate for the last three years for his prosecution of the war. Now that he has endorsed a lighter approach to Iraq, similar to what the media and the opposition have demanded, will they rehabilitate Rumsfeld as a "wise man" on the war? I suspect they will if the Bush administration continues to remain unwilling to adopt whatever recommendations the ISG provides in their report this week. We will see Rumsfeld interviewed on major talk shows in a much more respectful manner, asked to expand on the thoughts in this memo and his evaluation of why we need a "major adjustment".

In fact, unlike Andy, I suspect that this memo did not get leaked by someone within the Bush administration opposed to Rumsfeld; I suspect it came from Rumsfeld himself, or one of his deputies. Like Andy, I think this signals that we are about to enter a difficult two years for the war on terror.

Sec/Def Rumsfeld's assessment of a lighter, faster military has long been demanded by those in the field. they have seen how warfare has changed. Gone are the days of lining up and shooting at one another, or fighting over hills in a warzone, or even trying to hold a line against an enemy. The world has adapted warfare to the point where it is guerilla warfare at it's finest. This is why our Spec Ops troops--Navy SEALs, Marine Recon, Green Berets, Delta Force, etc.--are among the finest. They've learned and adapted. That was what Donald Rumsfeld was trying to do on a broader range for the military in toto.

What appears to have happened in the administration is that nation building took a front seat, and actually fighting the war took a back seat. That is not why we went to war, and that's not why went into Iraq. If this was the idea behind the invasion of Iraq from the administration, it would explain Colin Powell's aversion to the idea. It would also explain why Powell and Rumsfeld butted heads: They didn't want to go about invading Iraq in the way the president proposed. Powell was against it because of the internecine violence that was going to occur, and Rumsfeld didn't want to see us get bogged down in Iraq with the same violence. And it's probably because they knew that deep down, the president took Powell's words of "you break it you buy it" to heart; nation building was on the table for a strategy to win in Iraq as opposed to destroying the enemy.

There is no doubt now that Rumsfeld was fighting with the administration. This memo shows that he wasn't in favor of some of the decisions made by the president, or even some of those at the Pentagon. A lighter, fast-striking force would consistently have our enemy on their heels. Rumsfeld knew this because he knew we could use their tactics better than our enemy could. But, with hesitation comes bad judgment, and that has clearly reared it's ugly head now with this administration.

Mr. Morissey brings up the point about the Baker Commission, and it's unequivocally valid: The president seems content to take their advice, which is going to be disastrous. He's said that he won't withdraw troops, but with how quick Rumsfeld's exit was, there's no telling what the president means now. It is a distinct possibility that he has relegated himself to being a lame duck just to survive the next two years. That is a mistake that can't be made. By playing the game with the Baker Commission, and the Democrats who control Congress, he is going to cost us more in Iraq in terms of lives lost, time wasted, and money wasted.

Sabrina McKinney


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We seem to have lost sight of who and what this war is all about. We were attacked many times since the taking of our embassy by Iran and 9/11 was finally on our shores. We damn well knew it was a Jihad- a holy war with the purpose of making islam the world government and religion. To me, President Bush with Rumsfeld, Cheney and others was faced with how to prevent 9/11 from happening again? It seemed logical to invade Iraq would be like a magnet attracting the terrorists. It has worked so far but not for much longer because the peaceniks don't understand our enemy and their purpose. Rawriter

11:03 AM  

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